Feeds

UK teen is world's youngest certified ethical hacker (maybe)

Born to tinker

Website security in corporate America

For as long as he can remember, Shane Kelly has taken a keen interest in taking things apart. When he was 11 and his family took delivery of its first PC, he promptly pulled off the cover and disassembled it, much to the chagrin of his parents.

"They weren't too impressed at the time," Kelly, who is now 16, says. "But I put it back together. It worked."

A few months ago, the Solihull teenager successfully acquired an accreditation in Certified Ethical Hacking, making him possibly the youngest person to do so. While computers and networking have always captured his imagination, he says his interest in security prompted him to go for the hacking certification.

"That certainly stood out because it was the one qualification that focused not on the defensive side but it actually took you into the mind of the hacker," he says. "It was the mindset that gave me the motivation into taking the course."

Once upon a time, network security and penetration testing was a specialized field that was mainly inhabited by expensive outside consultants. Now that the net has become a core part of transacting business, more and more organizations are bringing these workers in-house.

"It's really come into its own as a legitimate area," says Terry Kurzynski, CEO of professional services firm Halock Security Labs, which also provides training for people seeking the credential. "We've been in security for 11 years and it really hasn't been until the last four or five years that ethical hacking has become a service."

It took Kelly about 10 months to complete the course work and pass the four-hour test required to get the accreditation. That included a five-day boot camp.

He recently landed a spot as a temporary worker at the Birmingham City University, where he expects to do IT-related work. He's considering acquiring additional accreditations for Cisco and Microsoft technologies.

But eventually, he says, he plans to do security work.

"Due to my age, it's probably not going to happen in the next five years," he says. "In the industry, you need to have a certain amount of experience. I hope to see myself doing security work of some some sort." ®

This story was updated to correct the name of the university where Kelly has landed a temp job.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.